Continued from Page 4
Nitrites are commonly used to produce a desired pink color in
traditionally cured meats such as ham or bologna. So it follows that the
natural presence of nitrates and nitrites either in the feed or water
supply used in the production of poultry are a factor in nitrite levels in
the birds. One study found that during 40 hours of storage at 40° F.,
naturally occurring microorganisms converted nitrate to nitrite. It also
found that the local water supply had nitrate and thus it could serve as a
nitrate source during processing.
Often meat of younger birds shows the most pink because their thinner
skins permit cooking gases to reach the flesh. The amount of fat in the
skin also affects the amount of pink color. Young birds or animals also
lack the shield of a fat covering.
Meat and poultry grilled or smoked outdoors can also look pink, even when
well done. There may be a pink-colored rim about one-half inch wide around
the outside of the cooked meat. The meat of commercially smoked turkeys is
usually pink because they are prepared with natural smoke and liquid smoke
Absent a meat thermometer, visual signs of doneness include checking the
color of the juices which run when the turkey is pierced with a fork.
Juices should be clear, not pink. The meat should be fork tender, and the
leg should move easily in the joint.
The main thing is to relax and have fun.
(Exerpted from The Great American Barbecue & Grilling Manual
© C. Clark Hale
8168 Hwy 98 E.
McComb, MS 39648
Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
'According to Smoky' is © by C. Clark Hale
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